You can actually make a lot of Montessori-inspired activities for your child using objects that you probably already have in your home — or that you can buy at a dollar store! One work that has always been a favorite in the classroom is the clothespins work. I first put it out when L was just one and a half, and she just became frustrated and wasn’t interested. So I put it back in the closet and brought it back out after she turned two. The first day it was out, L kept trying and trying. By day two, she was able to do it!
To set this up, I simply took a small bin and filled it with clothespins. I showed L how to pinch the clothespin so it opens and then clip it onto the side of the bin. If your child is having a hard time pinching it, you can show her how to do it with two hands. This develops the pincer grip [which helps with holding a pencil for writing] and builds hand strength and hand-eye coordination.
L loves this work and will repeat it over and over again. She now likes to count the clothespins as she clips them on — a fun little math extension!